Another important, but rather opposite spiritual
influence, at the time was J. Krishnamurti. In California I happened to end up for a few
years at Ojai, the town where Krishnamurti gave his yearly talks, which I attended
regularly. I became familiar with the Krishnamurti community and made friends with several
older members of the group, most who were ex-Theosophists.
Krishnamurtis thoughts had a logic that appealed to my
revolutionary and anti-authority mentality. He was a kind of spiritual anarchist. Though
he was in favor of meditation and the spiritual life, he was against gurus and structured
practices. Yet given my connections with the Vedas and Vedanta I couldnt accept his
wholesale rejection of tradition and technique, or his criticism of mantra.
Krishnamurti was, on one hand, a typically self-alienated Indian
intellectual criticizing his own culture. But, on the other hand, he possessed a genuine
meditative mind in harmony with the same tradition, a strange contradiction but one that
was appealing to people who could not relate to traditions.